Relax, It’s SOP


Since Richard Armitage joined Twitter, I’ve heard a lot of gasps about the tweets that are directed to him. People are truly offended on his behalf, and I totally get it. There are some things said to and about him that are just flat out mean, but you need to remember it’s part of fame and/or accomplishment. I’ve said this before, and it’s just profoundly true. If you forge ahead, someone is going to come with something negative no matter how unjust it may be.

Dear Rich,

I hope you take a page out of James Blunt’s book on these negative tweets, and I hope you know that you and he are far from alone:

A crazy fan who has a skin like steel on this (most of the time) and hope you do too.

note: SOP is the acronym for standard operating procedure


  1. I have a feeling Richard is wise enough to know there are a helluva lot of crazies out there and the very best way to handle them is to ignore them. Completely. To never, ever feed their narcissism by acknowledging their posts. I just wish Amanda Abbington would follow this advice. She let’s them hurt her over and over and it’s such a waste of her energy. I say all this from experience. I once dated someone famous. His fans were nutballs. Hard lesson for a young woman to learn.

  2. LOL! It’s so true about some fans, but I think it’s just true about some people. I’m so thankful I learned this before I was grown.

  3. I don’t care if it’s SOP. I’ll never get over people tweeting or posting on instagram to teenaged athletes that they hope they get injured or some of crazy threats that I’ve seen. There’s a line where you do have to take some of this stuff seriously. The trick is to know where that line falls.

  4. If someone makes a strong enough threat, then that could become a legal issue and something which moves out of the realm of a mean opinion.. That is not what I’m referring to. I’m talking about people giving their opinions such that they are very hurtful, and there is absolutely nothing that can be done to stop it unless we want to take freedom of speech away. I say that as someone who is married to a public figure. My husband gets all sorts of things said about him — good, bad and ugly. He’s even had death threats. If I had not learned early about how lame people can be, this would have eaten my lunch. I knew going in that would happen, so I blow it off. Then again, that’s my adult husband.

    As for the underage athletes, my son was one of those in k-12, and he was put in the newspaper and things said about him, but we did not put his picture on social media which could be seen by the public. I don’t put my underage child’s picture out for the public to see. Given that there are some nasty pieces of work around, it seems common sense not to do that. But that’s just me. Others may feel they should have the right to put their underage child’s picture out in public without it ever having something negative said about it. I think tha’ts foolish, but again, that’s my take on it.

  5. The teenaged athletes in question are Olympic or international-caliber athletes, so keeping their pictures out of the paper is not an option unless they retire, (Maybe not even then).. I am thinking of some incidents involving Aliya Mustafina and Mckayala Maroney, Olympic champion gymnasts, where people made comments on instagram saying that they hoped the gymnasts in question would be severely injured. There were also some rather nasty sexual and/or racist things said about other gymnasts, both teenagers and adults. There is at least one twitter or instagram account which exists just to call some 100 pound Spanish athlete a “whale”.
    This kind of thing is an extension of real life bullying and non-sports-related bullying (as when grown women are driven to suicide by online sexual bullying). My issue is not just the age of the athletes but the fact that twitter and instagram have no mechanism to deal with this stuff.

  6. Actually Twitter does have a way of dealing with can report that account. Go to the accounts profile page and hit the cog next to the follow button and then you’re able to issue a report on it. If you will point those accounts out I’ll do it too. I know for a fact that Twitter will get rid of accounts that are saying things like that.

  7. I’m not entirely sure about Instagram

  8. The things I’m referring to happened 2012-2013 iirc so it’s unlikely that I could find the posts again even if they haven’t been deleted.
    The incidents with Maroney happened on instagram I think and I have a vague memory of someone saying that they did report the posts, but the users in question just created new accounts or something. Eventually it faded away or the users were blocked.
    One of the gymnasts who had an account made to attack her was Roxi Popa (I think the account is now gone; it was called roxifoca).

    The stuff about Aliya Mustafina was in a bunch of places (esp tumblr)
    so maybe it’s outside the parameters of the discussion here. . One of the male British gymnasts also has a tumblr account made to attack him and there’s probably lots of stuff I don’t know about.

    However what’s significant to comparison with other types of celebrities is that sometimes the hating on the athletes seems pretty clearly to spring out of specific media coverage designed to create ‘drama’ by painting particular athletes as ‘divas’.

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